Sometimes we are lucky enough to cram in a workout during lunch hour, but stretching often gets pushed to the side when we’re crunched for time. When you really think about it, this seems so silly because stretching provides an almost instantaneous moment of bliss as the body gets a rush of blood and a feeling of stress and tension leaving the body. We believe stretching is almost as important in holistic wellness as mediation, good nutrition and sleep. Here are four reasons why it’s time to start incorporating stretching into your daily routine.
1. Relieve muscle tension
Sitting at a desk from 9 to 5 creates a buildup of tension in certain areas of the body, not to mention pain from being in the same spot for an extended period. Stretching allows muscles to contract and lengthen, working out any stiffness or built-up tension. Next time you’re feeling pain while at your office desk, try to get up and stretch your body out. Hopefully by the end of your stretch, your muscles will feel better and you can think more clearly. Need some stretching inspiration? This article from Real Simple offers some great tips on how to stretch at your desk.
2. Relieve mental tension
When you’re stressed, blood flow is restricted from certain areas of the body, which can lead to difficulty concentrating. Long stretches that allow you to hold the position for several seconds before letting go release tension in the body, boost blood circulation and relax the mind. These slow, tension-relieving stretches allow you to pause your day for a few minutes and focus on yourself.
3. Improved posture
Consistent stretching over time can lead to improved posture. Tense muscles can cause slouching and as a result, more muscle pain and tension. Adding stretching into your routine also increases body awareness, making you more likely to notice how your body is positioned during the day.
4. Long-term health & chronic pain
Consistent stretching protects your body from long-term chronic pain and injury. While stretching in the moment is perfect for relieving tensions, preventing workout-related injuries, and improving posture, stretching consistently protects your body in the future. Having an established routine of stretching aids in the overall flexibility of your body and allows you to move better, longer.